Oxford Bibliographies Online (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX


In contemporary philosophy, arguments for “fatalism” are arguments for the conclusion that no human actions are free. Such arguments typically come in two varieties: logical and theological. Arguments for logical fatalism proceed, roughly, from truths about future actions to the conclusion that those actions are unavoidable, and hence unfree. Arguments for theological fatalism, on the other hand, proceed, roughly, from divine beliefs about future actions to the conclusion that those actions are unavoidable, and hence unfree. What is characteristic of any argument for fatalism is that, first, it purports to show by appeal to quite general logical or metaphysical assumptions that no human action is free, and, second, it does so without explicitly invoking the thesis that those actions are causally determined. There is, of course, a venerable argument for the conclusion that causal determinism is incompatible with free will (understood as the ability to do otherwise), but philosophers advancing such arguments are not now generally understood to be advancing the cause of “fatalism.” To endorse fatalism is thus not simply to endorse the view that no human action is free, but also to endorse the further claim that this can be shown by appeal to the general logical or metaphysical assumptions at issue. Fatalistic arguments of both sorts are and have been intimately bound up with philosophical questions about the logical status of future contingent propositions—propositions saying of causally undetermined events that they will happen. This entry will thus cover the main positions in the debates concerning logical fatalism, the logic of future contingents, and theological fatalism.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,122

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On a theological argument for fatalism.Susan Haack - 1974 - Philosophical Quarterly 24 (95):156-159.
Metaphysical Fatalism, in Five Steps.Nicola Ciprotti - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 86 (1):35-54.
Fate, freedom and contingency.Ferenc Huoranszki - 2002 - Acta Analytica 17 (1):79-102.
God, fatalism, and temporal ontology.David Kyle Johnson - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (4):435-454.
Belief, Foreknowledge, and Theological Fatalism.Charles T. Hughes - 1997 - Faith and Philosophy 14 (3):378-387.
Fatalism.Alicia Finch & Ted A. Warfield - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (2):233-238.
Looking for the Lazy Argument Candidates.Vladimir Marko - 2011 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 18 (3 & 4):363-383; 447-474.
The open past.Ned Markosian - 1995 - Philosophical Studies 79 (1):95 - 105.
Some comments on fatalism.James Cargile - 1996 - Philosophical Quarterly 46 (182):1-11.
Against Limited Foreknowledge.Patrick Todd - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):523-538.
Fatalism.M. Bernstein - 2001 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. New York: Oxford University Press.
On fate and fatalism.Robert C. Solomon - 2003 - Philosophy East and West 53 (4):435-454.
On the cannot of infallibility.Alex Blum - 2005 - Sophia 44 (1):125-127.


Added to PP

214 (#88,671)

6 months
12 (#145,875)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Patrick Todd
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Foreknowledge and Free Will.Linda Zagzebski - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:online.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references